Anderson signed a four-year contract with the Bills on Wednesday, and the deal could be worth as much as $27.5 million, according to multiple reports. That was clearly way too much money for the Patriots, who were interested in keeping Anderson as a role player before he earned a paycheck worthy of a full-time starter.
Anderson and defensive end Andre Carter were the only free agents who had at least 10 sacks last season, so this type of contract didn't come out of nowhere. Plus, the Bills have made a clear attempt during free agency to upgrade their woeful pass rush, and Anderson will team up with Mario Williams as the bookends on a very good line.
The Patriots have already added defensive linemen Jonathan Fanene and Trevor Scott in free agency, and there's still a good chance they retain Carter if he's healthy enough to contribute in 2012. And with six picks in the first three rounds of the draft, the Patriots will try to replace Anderson's production in that forum, too.
Losing Anderson will be tough for the Patriots, but they had a price in mind, and the Bills exceeded it — likely in a big way.